Published: Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Updated: Tuesday, July 27, 2010 15:07
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Is there a standard, proper attribution for Internet photos, such as those obtained from GIS (i.e., is "Courtesy Google Images" acceptable?)
First, it is important to remember that providing attribution is not a lawful substitute for obtaining explicit permission from a copyright owner. If someone else created or owns the photo (or other copyrighted work) you want to use and you can't make a reasonable Fair Use argument, you must obtain permission prior to your using it. Simply including a photo credit, though always important, does not change this requirement.
That said, if you have determined that you are legally permitted to use a photo, you should credit the photographer (or photographer's employer) rather than simply "Google Images." Only use "Courtesy of ___" where you have actually contacted the photo's copyright owner and obtained permission. Otherwise, a standard "Photo by ____," "Source: ___" or other consistent attribution is best.